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Land Dispute Keeps Santa Ana and Tustin at Odds.

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Gray Davis has signed a bill siding with two school districts in their prolonged dispute with the city of Tustin over land on the old Tustin Marine Corps Air Station.

The bill, signed into law earlier this month, requires that 100 acres of the former base be transferred to the Santa Ana Unified School District Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) is a school district in Orange County, California that serves the city of Santa Ana. Although its geographic size is only 24 square miles, it is the third largest school district in the state of California with 61,693 students.  and the Rancho Santiago Community College District The Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD), one of four community college districts located in Orange County, California, offers associate degrees and adult education certificates through its two colleges: Santa Ana College in Santa Ana and Santiago Canyon College in  before the rest is developed.

Tustin Mayor Tracy Wills Worley said the city will sue to overturn the law.

The controversy dates back to 1994, when the U.S. Department of Education approved the districts' applications for land at the base. About 120 acres of the base is within the two Santa Ana Santa Ana, city, El Salvador
Santa Ana (sän'tä ä`nä), city (1993 pop. 129,873), W El Salvador. It is the second largest city in the country and the commercial and processing center for a sugarcane, coffee, and cattle region.
 districts' boundaries.

However, Tustin was named by the federal government as the agency to redevelop re·de·vel·op  
v. re·de·vel·oped, re·de·vel·op·ing, re·de·vel·ops
1. To develop (something) again.

 the base in 1995 and rejected the districts' claims for the land.

Tustin's redevelopment plan for the base gives land to the Tustin and Irvine districts and South Orange County Community College District South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD), Founded in 1967,is comprised of two separate colleges: Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California and Irvine Valley College in Irvine, California. , but it offers none to the Santa Ana schools.

The two districts and the city of Tustin have been negotiating without success. The districts want land free of contamination at the 1,600-acre former base. Negotiations in June dissolved when the districts rejected the city's offer of 37 acres elsewhere on the base plus $40 million to help with overcrowding overcrowding

overcrowding of animal accommodation. Many countries now publish codes of practice which define what the appropriate volumetric allowances should be for each species of animal when they are housed indoors. Breaches of these codes is overcrowding.

The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2002, but lawmakers said any agreement reached by the parties before then would nullify nul·li·fy  
tr.v. nul·li·fied, nul·li·fy·ing, nul·li·fies
1. To make null; invalidate.

2. To counteract the force or effectiveness of.
 the bill.

"The parties are very close, and I am hopeful that the lawsuits will end and that the parties can reach an agreement by the end of the year," said the author, Assemblyman Lou Correa Luis Correa (born 1958) is a California Democratic Party politician. He is serving his first term as a member of the California State Senate, representing the 34th Senate District. , D-Anaheim.

"This action should lay the groundwork for earnest dialogue with the city of Tustin so we can reach settlement, bring closure to the issue and move on," said Rancho Santiago Chancellor Edward Hernandez.

Santa Ana Superintendent Al Mijares also said the bill would "open the door to sincere negotiations."

However, Tustin Mayor Worley called the bill "flawed and illegal" and said it will make the situation worse by tying the redevelopment up in the courts.

The mayor said no new classrooms, day-care facilities, parks or job-producing industries will be built "until the cloud over cloud over

1. (of the sky or weather) to become cloudy: it was clouding over and we thought it would rain

 the base created by this legislation is resolved."

In a message to lawmakers, Davis said he was signing the bill with "great reluctance," because he thinks local land use disputes should be settled without state intervention. He implored the three agencies to continue negotiations.

The city of Tustin wants to sell the land within the districts to help pay for converting the former helicopter base into homes and businesses.

Santa Ana Unified School District, with 60,000 students, is the state's fifth-largest. Enrollment, which is 92 percent Hispanic, has grown more than 23 percent in the past decade.

Eighteen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is comprised of 21 Democratic Members of the United States Congress of Hispanic descent. The Caucus is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States and Puerto Rico.  sent Davis a letter they wrote asking President Bush to direct the Department of the Navy to give the land directly to the districts.

Two Latino rights groups and the districts have filed a federal discrimination suit against Tustin.

The bill has been heavily lobbied during the last year. Santa Aha Unified reported spending $13,501 during the first six months of this year to push the legislation and other bills.

Tustin listed lobbying expenses of $144,511 for its priorities.
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Title Annotation:school districts
Publication:Community College Week
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Aug 20, 2001
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